Five years later we are in Bend again with the same cast of characters sans R and Dona. Pat still lives here, but in a new house, and is still a gracious host and great ambassador for her community. Roger and Gail again came out from Portland.
We actually camped at La Pine State Park, which was a little further south than we imagined, since it was another fifteen minutes to the campground after turning off of the 97. When we first pulled in we were both quietly anxious as we kept driving and driving, both of us thinking the same thing but not saying it, where in the hell is the campground? Are we on the correct road?
We originally contemplated boondocking, but it can get hot in this part of Oregon in July so we made reservations at La Pine. La Pine is one of those rarities, a full hook up campground. Not a big dollar RV Resort, or a RV Park where they line you up parking lot style, but a campground.
There are many obvious benefits to a full hook up campground, especially if you are there six days, but one of the biggest benefits in our book is no one is using a generator. Kids having fun is fine. We actually enjoy watching them doing laps on their bikes around the campground, but generators are no bueno. The noise is disruptive, the expensive Honda or Yamaha whisper generators aren’t too bad, but invariably someone has a 5,000 watt Champion generator or some other huge industrial one that can power an entire building. It would be quieter camping on the shoulder of the I-15 in the Inland Empire. That’s my version of the proverbial old man standing on his porch yelling at the kids to get off the grass.
It ended up being a smart move on our part not to boondock. It was the first time for us to fire up the furnace in the morning because it was 37 degrees and then on the same day crank the AC as the thermometer pushed past 90.
Five years later, Bend is a little larger and unless my memory is failing me again, it has a few more roundabouts, but it still has the never ending flowy single track trails it’s famous for, albeit, quite dusty and breweries everywhere.
Pat took Roger and us on two rides. A 20 mile ride with a decent amount of climbing around the Newberry Caldera and then a 32 mile epic from Mt. Bachelor to Bend. We also did a couple of rides by ourselves, the trail system around La Pine State Park and the famous Ben, Pinedrops, Whoops, Phils loop. Pat and her beau, Vaughan, also hosted dinner one evening in her beautiful backyard. We’ve been truly blessed this summer to meet up with friends on most of our stops.
We rarely pay to have someone shuttle us. The Mt Bachelor to Bend ride is only the fourth time, (and we didn’t even pay, Pat used her punch card) but we always seem to get a good story out of the drivers. They all seem to be cut from the same cloth. In Downieville, the driver referred to the Tahoe trails as “doinky doink.” A decade later we still reference that phrase when we do a really easy ride. Then there’s the famous Shuttle Bob in Kernville. He gives all the ladies a gift and a hard time to the guys. This trip we had Todd from Cog Wild. Amelia was sitting shotgun and got to hear about all the places he lived, in between listing places he drops the hippopotamus joke on her.
“Do you know why you never see hippos hiding in the trees here?” pause… “Because they hide really well!”